Bisexual

A Few Quotes from Robyn Ochs969335_10200565945363489_484432438_n

DEFINITION OF BISEXUALITY:
“I call myself bisexual because I acknowledge that I have in myself the potential to be attracted – romantically and/or sexually – to people of more than one gender, not necessarily at the same time, not necessarily in the same way, and not necessarily to the same degree.”

“For me, the bi in #bisexual refers to the potential for attraction to people with genders similar to and different from my own.

ON IDENTITY:
I am witness to the increasingly complex and diverse ways in which people come to understand and identify their sexualities. Labels should not be boxes into which we feel we must squeeze ourselves, but rather tools with which to communicate and to begin conversations.

Identity is a journey. We travel through life becoming and discovering ourselves. There’s no shame in living with uncertainty, or in changing your label(s) as new information comes in.”

Labels should not be boxes into which we feel we much squeeze ourselves, but rather tools with which to communicate and begin conversations.”

ON COMING OUT:
When I finally began coming out to people, I experienced a profound sense of relief. I felt light and wonderful. And I was surprised because I had never before realized the weight of my silence.

ON ACTIVISM:
Activists are cultural artists. They envision a world that does not yet exist and then take action to bring that world into being.

ON OPPRESSION:
“Some folks say that bisexuals are not oppressed because at least we are accepted by mainstream society when we have different-gender partners. Agreed, society may like us when we show only that aspect of who we are. But conditional acceptance is not true acceptance. When we show our same-gender-loving side, we suffer the same discrimination as other gay men and lesbians. We don’t lose only half our children in custody battles. When homophobia hits, we don’t get just half fired from our jobs (put on half time, perhaps?). We don’t get just half gay bashed when we are out with our same-sex lovers (“Oh please, only hit me on my left side. You see, I’m bisexual!’).

ON INCLUSION:
“Inclusion is not about an entitled group of privileged citizens deigning to open up the big door to let their inferiors in. Inclusion is about acknowledging what already is. When lesbian, gay, bi and transgendered people insist on equal rights, respect and acknowledgment in the mainstream community, we do not ask as outsiders. We are pointing out that we are already here, we have been here for a long time, and we demand that our presence as citizens be recognized legally, culturally, and interpersonally. And as a bi-identified woman, I expect the same of gay men and lesbians. Bi and trans folks have long been part of what some call the ‘gay and lesbian community’ and what I call the ‘lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered and ally communities.’ I’ve been active in my local community since the early 1980s, and I’ll continue to be here with or without anyone else’s permission. It would be a lot easier for me and for a lot of my bi and trans friends, as well as for my forward thinking gay and lesbian friends and allies, if conservatives – heterosexual and gay – would acknowledge what already exists. I’m sorry that some people have such a hard time accepting reality, but I am not going to disappear, or keep quiet, to make biphobic or homophobic people more comfortable. We’re here. Get used to it.”

Organizations

Other places to find links to groups:

Online Publications and Blogs

  • Bi Women Quarterly. Based in Boston, with a worldwide readership, this grassroots publication is available online and free electronic subscriptions are available. 
  • Bi Community News – National newsletter for UK bisexuals.
  • BiMagazine
  • Bi-Nieuws Magazine – magazine of the Dutch Bisexual Network/ Landelijk Netwerk Biseksualiteit (in Dutch), published from the Netherlands
  • Bi Social Network – Interactive bisexual blog. Articles about social, entertainment and political scenes, focusing on bisexual men, women, teens and social issues surrounding the myths of bisexuality in the gay, lesbian and straight communities. They also have a Talk Radio show.
  • The Fence – an on-line magazine for bisexual women, published from Toronto, Canada.
  • Bi Media – Bisexual news site in blog form. Based in the UK, but has info from all over.

Books

Robyn and Erin Moore at the book signing in Borders Uptown, Dallas
Robyn and Erin Moore at the book signing in Borders Uptown, Dallas

Domestic Violence Resources Directed Toward Bisexuals

La Red: The Network for Battered Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Women
An organization dedicated to ending abuse in lesbian, bisexual women’s and transgender communities (Acabando con el abuso en comunidades de lesbianas, de mujeres bisexuales y de gente transgénero). They have provided the following resources:

Essays/Chapters Available Online

Robyn Ochs, various articles, including:

Theory Not (Yet) Available Online

  • Angelides, S 2001, A History of Bisexuality, University of Chicago Press, Chicago and London.
  • Angelides, S 2007, Historicizing (Bi)Sexuality: A Rejoinder for Gay/Lesbian Studies, Feminism, and Queer Theory, Journal of Homosexuality, vol. 52, no. 1/2, pp. 125-58.
  • Burrill, KG 2002, Queering Bisexuality, in D Atkins (ed.), Bisexual Women in the Twenty-First Century, The Haworth Press, New York, pp. 96-105.
  • du Plessis, M 1996, Blatantly Bisexual; or Unthinking Queer Theory, in D Hall & M Pramaggiore (eds), Re-Presenting Bisexualities: Subjects and Cultures of Fluid Desire, New York University Press, New York, pp. 19-54.
  • Eliason, M., Queer Studies: A Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Anthology.
  • Fraser, M 1999, Classing Queer: Politics in Competition, Theory, Culture & Society, vol. 16, no. 2, pp. 107-31.
  • Gammon, M & Isgro, K 2007, Troubling the Canon: Bisexuality and Queer Theory, Journal of Homosexuality, vol. 52, no. 1/2, pp. 159-84.
  • Hemmings, C., Bisexual Spaces: A Geography of Sexuality and Gender.
  • Horncastle, J 2008, Queer Bisexuality: Perceptions of Bisexual Existence, Distinctions, and Challenges, Journal of Bisexuality, vol. 8, no. 1/2, pp. 25-49.
  • Storr, M 1999, Postmodern Bisexuality, Sexualities, vol. 2, no. 3, pp. 309-25.

Bisexual Identity Development

(Thanks to Margaret Robinson!)

Films & Videos

I am frequently asked to recommend FILMS about bisexuality. Interestingly, there is not a single film that reflects MY experience, that deals comprehensively with bisexuality, is of high production quality, available, and that treats bisexual identity with respect. But there are a few quality films out there, each of which does a good job addressing a slice of bisexuality. Here are a few:

  • The Feels – YouTube series. Very short episodes focusing on one young bi man.
  • Bi: The Web Series  – YouTube series about “Alex Walker, a young man looking for love.”
  • Bisexual Revolution – A documentary from France, in French and with English subtitles (YouTube trailer).
  • Rose By Any Other Name… – A Bisexual Web TV Series
  • Crossing the Line (2008) – Made in Canada by Deveraux Babineau Productions and first broadcast on CBC television on February 19, 2008, this one-hour documentary follows two young women coming out as bisexual in Toronto, Ontario. The documentary raises an interesting question: If you don’t come out in the context of a specific relationship with a specific person, how exactly do you go about finding community and exploring your sexuality? (Disclaimer: I’m one of the “experts” interviewed in this documentary.)
  • Bi the Way (2008) – Made in the U.S. by filmmakers Brittany Blockman and Josephine Decker who travel around the U.S. and interview people about bisexuality. This film focuses on the under-30 crowd.

Please feel free to write to me with additional recommendations.

Bi-Themed Television Talk Show is Finally Available Online

BiCities – Out of Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota. Hosted by Dr. Marge Charmoli and Dr. Anita Kozan. They do some wonderful interviews. I’ve been on their show twice and can vouch for this!

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